If you’ve ever needed a sign from the social media gods that anything is possible, here it is. When chicken nugget-loving high schooler Carter Wilkerson tweeted a major request to Wendy’s, the fast food giant set the stakes high:
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
That sassy response set Twitter on fire. With help from the corresponding hashtag
#NuggsForCarter, the tweet went viral. While the spotlight was on Wendy’s, countless brands like Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, and Google tweeted about the frenzy as well. As companies, celebrities, and the rest of the Twitterverse amplified the conversation, Twitter made sure to record every step of the journey with regular updates and even a custom emoji:
— Twitter (@Twitter) April 18, 2017
While “Nugget Boy” didn’t reach the requested 18 million retweets, he managed to attract over 3.5 million retweets and counting, breaking Ellen DeGeneres’ Guinness World Record for the most retweeted post of all time. Who would have thought that chicken nuggets were capable of starting a social media revolution? Wendy’s pushed publicity even further by fulfilling Wilkerson’s wish for a year of free chicken nuggets AND donating $100,000 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to celebrate the milestone.
A Single Tweet With A Huge Impact
While Wendy’s has had a rather interesting approach to their social accounts in the past, its social media team’s bluntness has definitely paid off in this case. According to Google Trends, searches for the fast food chain have reached an all-time high thanks to the world record. Wendy’s stock is also higher than it has ever been in the last decade; there’s a good chance that their social media presence played some role in this profit boost.
What Can We Learn?
How can your social media team replicate Wendy’s success? Brandon Rhoten, Head of Media, Advertising, and Digital/Social for Wendy’s has a few suggestions. “Think about what makes you interesting. Focus on that. You have to find that thing and leverage it across all platforms,” Rhoten advises. So take the time to develop your unique brand voice, and don’t be afraid to take risks along the way. It’s the only way to cut through the social media noise.